Huffer was an Autobot Mini Vehicle released in 1984, in the first wave of Generation 1. Huffer transforms into a generic semi tractor resembling an older Ottawa yard spotter truck (a small, plain semi cab used for moving trailers short distances), if only in silhouette.
His mold was originally part of Takara’s 1983 Microman: Microchange line as MC04 Mini CAR Robo 07: Semi Truck. Unlike Diaclone, the Mini CAR Robo were actually meant to resemble toy vehicles rather than real vehicles, resulting in Huffer’s somewhat distorted proportions.
In his orange truck mode, he has two large chrome smokestacks and shares his deeply treaded plastic wheels with wave-mates Brawn and Gears. Like all the former Microchange Mini CAR “big vehicles,” he also shares a similar, very simple, transformation scheme. His chrome arms pull out from the sides, and his legs slide down from the rear of the vehicle. Unlike the others, the cab section must be rotated into place to reveal his face, which is located between the chassis and the cab.
Date stamp location: on truck frame behind cab
Rubsign location: None (1984), or center of roof (1985)
Huffer is very sturdy, and despite a propensity to chrome wear, spotting, or fading, he is often intact. However, in cases of excessive force applied to the front wheels, they can break from their offset position beneath the smokestacks.
Huffer did not receive any major design upgrades throughout his production, his variants simly follow the updating of date stamps.International variants of Huffer also exist from Mexico and Greece.
Type 1: Pre-rubsign, "Takara Japan" stamp
Type 2: Pre-rubsign, "©Takara Co. Ltd. Japan 1974-1983" stamp
Type 3: With rubsign, "©Takara Co. Ltd. Japan 1974-1983" stamp
Type 4: With rubsign, "©Takara Co. Ltd. Japan 1974-1983 ©Hasbro 1974-1983" stamp
Type 1GR: Pre-rubsign, no date stamp, red painted eye band, darker orange
Type ?MX: ??
Huffer was available in the US and UK as part of the first wave of G1 in 1984. He was available again in 1985 including in continental Europe, having traded the Autobot logo on his roof for a rubsign in the same place. This version was released in Japan’s G1 - Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers as Drag. Brawn was produced and sold by licensee El Greco in Greece as Γίγαντας (Gigantas [Giant]), listed as Type 1GR above, though a large number seem to have been mistakenly sold on the El Greco Brawn card backer. Like the other 1984 Minibots, some 1985 releases included a Mini-Spy.
Case Assortments (Item#/Asst#): 1984: (E5703/5700), 4 per 24; 1985: Mini Vehicles with Mini-Spy (E5703/5709), 4 per 24; Mini Vehicles Assortment 2 (E5703/5710), 1 per 24
MSRP: $2.99 (1984)
Packaging: Blister card with instructions and Tech Spec on back, displayed in vehicle mode (1984), or robot mode (1985)
Robot Points: 1/2 Autobot
Redecos & Retools
He was available in a 2004 Japanese Minibot Team Set as part of Takara’s The Transformers Collection. This version was recolored in Japan to produce the 2004 e-HOBBY Road Ranger as a member of the G1 Gobots set. While Pipes appears to be a retool of Huffer in 1986, the extent of the retooling (extending to nearly every part) indicates that Pipes was largely an entirely new mold. This is further indicated by Huffer’s direct reissue, in contrast to Cliffjumper, whose every would-be reissue was instead presented as his retool, Hubcap.